The draft 2021 supplementary budget of N895,842,462,917 has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, in a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja
The approval was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, during State House correspondents briefing at the end of the Council meeting.
The budget was mainly for the procurement of equipment for the military and COVID-19 vaccines according to the minister.
She said a total of N770.60 billion in the bill is to further improve the defence capacity and to address current and emerging security challenges in Nigeria.
The minister said approval was also given to withdraw N135 billion from some special reserve levy accounts to part-fund this supplementary budget as well as approval to borrow the sum of N722.53 billion for security expenditures.
Total of N83.56 billion in the budget is for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of the vaccines, according to Ahmed.
N40 billion was set aside to take care of the needs for allowances to the health, education sectors and other wage related issues, while N1.69 billion was for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme.
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The minister’s statement read in part: …”Council noted the urgent need to specifically enhance the capacity of our military and paramilitary agencies to tackle the various security challenges that we currently have in the country, Council on this note approved the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill in an average expenditure of N895,842,462,917.
“The total of this expenditure is made up of at N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of that 30 million vaccines.
“It also contains the sum of N1.69 billion for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme that is currently operating in the states and an additional contingency provision of N40 billion under the public service-wide adjustments to take care of the needs for allowances to the health sector, to the education sector and other wage related issues. This is an incremental provision over N100 billion that is already provided in the 2021 budget.
“The Council also approved an aggregate sum N770.60 billion to further enhance the capacity of the Defense and the security agencies to address current and emerging security challenges in our country.”
The minister added: “In line with this approval, we have also been given approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totaling about N39.58 billion as part of the financing source for this supplementary budget.
“We will be working with the World Bank to restructure some of the existing facilities to realize this N39.58 billion.
“We’ve also been given approval to withdraw N135 billion from some special reserve levy accounts to part-fund this supplementary budget, but specifically related to COVID-19 vaccine, salaries and other health-related expenditure as well as the recurrent component of the Defense and Security expenditures.
“Finally, this approval also contains an approval to borrow the sum of N722.53 billion for security expenditures and these are the capital components of the security expenditure in the absence of any other additional supplementary sources of borrowing. This borrowing would be done from the domestic international capital market.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.